Very real risk of coronavirus in the Netherlands
Bruno Bruins, the Dutch Minister for Medical Care, has warned of the risk of coronavirus reaching the Netherlands. The virus has been detected just across the Dutch border at Sittard and now the first case has been confirmed in Tilburg.
Coronavirus reaches Dutch borders
The Netherlands is one of the last countries in Western Europe to register a case of coronavirus. Just over the border at Sittard, a German man has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus. Now, a man in Tilburg has been confirmed with it.
The man in Tilburg, said to be around 50 years old, had recently spent time in Lombardy, Italy. He is now in quarantine at the Elisabeth TweeSteden Ziekenhuis. Health officials are trying to trace his contacts. According to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), the man showed symptoms of the virus and was hospitalised and tested. All of his known contacts are now being monitored to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Outside of Europe, 23 Dutch tourists are currently in quarantine at a hotel in Tenerife. Others are currently in quarantine on the Westerdam cruise ship in the Americas as well as the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. As of yet, none of them seem to have contracted the virus. Dutch citizens evacuated from Wuhan, the epicentre of the virus, earlier this year were examined for symptoms and spent two weeks in quarantine.
Dutch minister warns of risk to the Netherlands
The virus has been raging through Western Europe and has now reached the Netherlands. This week, Bruno Bruins, the Minister for Medical Care, warned of the “real risk” of the virus breaching Dutch borders.
Bruins told reporters that he wants to respond with good public information and the right preparations. According to him, all kinds of preparations have been made in order to combat the spread of the COVID-19. Dedicated quarantine areas have been set up and the government is looking into the availability of protective equipment, like masks and gloves. The RIVM previously stated that they are well prepared for an outbreak.
If you are experiencing symptoms, such as a fever or cough, and have been in contact with infected people or visited affected countries, then you should call your doctor. To prevent the spread of the disease, Bruins recommends that you regularly wash your hands and cough or sneeze into your elbow. More information can be found on the RIVM website.